Sense of Faith

Week Twelve of The Artist’s Way talks about faith – a sense of spiritual connection that isn’t tied to any particular region or dogma.

‘spirit of the universe

guide me

infuse me

with your dynamic productive energy

as you create through me

works

writing

emotions

that helps open others to

spiritual hope

direction fulfillment

thank you for all’

I wrote the above as one of the Artist’s Way tasks – to write a prayer/affirmation as part of the process of making thought into an action. I recently had a conversation with a friend about prayer. He was concerned that as he held no organized religious beliefs, was his use of prayer hypocritical. Was he  agnostic atheist heretic blasphemer? I told him those terms were based in a Christian construct. As I said that I thought about what Toni Morrison said about the nature of the white gaze which dominates so much of our thinking without us realizing it.

The past few weeks I have been realizing how much of my spiritual ideology is still seen though a Christian gaze, even though I don’t consider myself Christian. The prayer about was written with that gaze over my shoulder, an invisible editor that bargains with the universe in this trade off – like the Biblical trade off in which if you’re good you go to Heaven – we have to be bribed. Why can’t one be good for the sake of being good.

Why can’t I have ‘dynamic productive energy’ without bargaining for it by being of good to others as a result? Can I develop a sense of faith that steps out of the Christian gaze? Even though I say ‘spirit of the universe’ I see that I am engaging with it so as not to appear selfish, or self-serving. That my creativity is only of value if it feeds into the needs of others. Not that I expect faith to exist in a vacuum isolated from culture but I’d like one that doesn’t depend on a culture to approve or validate it. I have faith that that faith is possible 🙂

from Aug 2013

Five Calls

<>

the phone rings

what is it this time

time after time the same

never enough to last a week

if only hanging up could break a jaw

<>

the phones rings

how soon

see you in an hour

the heart dances

faster that the clock ticks

<>

the phone rings

how did you get this number

I don’t want to talk to you

there’s nothing left to say

that’s the price you have to pay

<>

the phone rings

stirring me from dreams

into the charms arms hold

everything to anticipate

nothing to resist

<>

the phone rings

have you heard

didn’t expect to be the one

left here dial tone dangling

cold receiver of sobs

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Way To Go Week One

Finished the introductions to both the book & the workbook. They echo each other. I find a few things to contradict but for the most part I choose not to argue & push on. I dislike the ‘informercial’ brag – so-so did this & now has two best-sellers, has a movie, an exhibition – the implication being that if you don’t get these results you are doing something wrong.

I appreciated the reinforcing of my thought that we mistake negative thinking for being realistic & positive thinking as delusional. This came up in the discussion round the use of affirmations – to think ‘I am never going to get anywhere’ is clearly factual, whereas ‘I am a productive writer’ is an egotistical brag not a fact.

Starting doing the week one tasks, as suggested, in long hand!! So I am following at least one of the suggestions, as I do my morning pages on my desktop. I do most of my writing via keyboard. The ‘Way’ theory is longhand slows the brain down to sort things out carefully – my theory is the faster I write the less my editor steps in & the more I am open to the flow.

My artist date last week was part of my morning walk – a stop at, I kid you not, Glory Hole Donuts – Gerrard E/Coxwell. These are not your average donuts. Not exactly out of my comfort zone either so future might take me more out of my routines. In winter I’m less inclined to go places where I’m trapped in my winter wear but I have been eye a few sort of trade shows that could be diverting. The ultimate artist date will be DC this June 🙂


The poems I’m currently posting on Mondays are thing I wrote in 2008 & am finally going back to take a look at – raw dough some of which needs carefully unravelling to translate from my typo or spell-check typo to English. This is sort of an an artist date with my past self.

F-Bombs Away

is there an emoticon to say 

what one doesn’t want to put into words

some cute little animated gif

that’ll take the sting out of the unspeakable

out of the unprintable

to remove any real pain

but says it all anyway

 

the vulgarity that curdles the bold

the sacrilege that shakes one’s belief system

reduced to a shruggy face

so that no one is offended

except those offended

by the sweet correctness of our times

where we dare not overstep

boundaries of taste

drop the f-bomb too much

or the deadly c-word

 

this fear of having people realize 

that we are as crass and boorish

as we are afraid we are

better to keep that self out of the public eye

off the printed page

unless that unguarded text moment

gets retweeted

shows up on You Tube

 

there has to be a way

of being offensive

without being offensive

without swearing 

making idle hand gestures

caught on cell phone videos

 

we are always on our toes

being as daring as we dare

pushing enough to let people know 

we can push

and that they should be grateful

we aren’t going as far as we’d like

that we could make them really uncomfortable

but aren’t out of politeness

yes politeness 

not out of fear of reprisal or judgement

without shooting them or ourselves 

in our pretty little heads

we want respect not dismay

for saying just the right unkind insult

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

March

March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

March 13 –

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

My Brilliance

My recent post on Shame (http://wp.me/p1RtxU-1le )was inspired by my brilliance – that’s right – my brilliance – does that sound egotistical? Conceited? Shouldn’t I be ashamed to make such an admission, where’s my sense of modesty?

selfieb01

I use affirmations – some on a daily basis – to counterbalance the cultural messages we all get bombarded with – i.e. you’re fat & fat is bad; you’re queer & that makes you less human; you’re old & not sexually attractive; you’re not pretty, white, black, fit, rich enough for happiness. An affirmation I’m currently using is: ‘I am guided to the best way to express my brilliance.’

selfieb02

The arguments in my head against this affirmation, against even admitting this, are: it sounds egotistical? Conceited? Shouldn’t I be ashamed to make such an admission, where’s my sense of modesty? If I’m so brilliant where’s my Governor General’s Award etc. If it’s not making $ it’s useless – now there’s a cultural message that’s impossible not to hear & just as hard not to get trapped by.

selfieb03

me & Frank in DC

In the past couple of years I’ve begun taking selfies (http://wp.me/p1RtxU-UV) whenever I’d come across a mirror, often in washrooms, but sometimes in the street: store windows, actually tossed out mirrors. This pushed me to look at my body image, at how I feel about people who post selfies – who do they think they are etc. You know, I’ve got a great smile. There’s also lots of pics of me performing, on stage, & those are great fun even though I have little control of how I’m going to look – it’s hard to pose & perform – or wonder is that my best side?

selfieb04

brick walled at Loyalist

Seeing them has lead me to a greater acceptance, at least an indifference, to how I look. Besides when I’m on stage I’m always brilliant so I look fantastic.

samples

This is an old piece that looks at some of those old affirmations (http://wp.me/p1RtxU-io)

Critic (put those crayons down)

you call that colouring

if you can’t stay in the lines

why bother

why waste money on colouring books

you’ll never be an artist

till you can colour within the lines

you’ll never be a great writer

with handwriting like that

you have to write between the

lines

not over them

not in slanting dribbles across the page

you’ll never be a writer

till you learn how to spell

you don’t smoke up

were never sexually abused as a child

don’t have a chemical in-balance of any sort

you don’t have enough suffering

to be worth listening to

you’ll never be genius

you’re just too well-balanced

to be authentically creative

you’re too old

too fat

too queer

so put those crayons down

it’s too late for you

no

 

money

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hot

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me01

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